Welcome to Cooperstown, Pedro Martinez!
Today is the day that Pedro Martinez gets a new name. For a long time, he was, "Ugh, we have to face Pedro Martinez today?" Then he became "Cy Young Award Winner Pedro Martinez." Then, "Possible-MVP Pedro Martinez." Then, "Future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez."
But now, as evidenced by tablets and online pizza ordering, we are living in the future, and Martinez has been voted into the Hall of Fame - just the second player from the Dominican Republic to be elected.
Martinez was already really good when he arrived in Boston in 1998: He'd won his first Cy Young Award with the Expos in 1997 and had never posted an ERA above 3.70 in six years in the bigs. But from there, he went supernova.
Between 1999 and 2000, Martinez was essentially unhittable. In '99, Pedro went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA, striking out an insane 13.2 batters per nine innings. Among the highlights was this 17-K performance against the Yankees:
That season not only earned him his second career Cy Young, but drove him to second place on the AL MVP ballot, narrowly losing out to Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez. He nearly equaled the feat again in 2000, posting an even better ERA (1.74) and winning his third Cy Young Award.
But you know what? Enough with the words and letters and things. Let's just watch Pedro in all his dominant glory.
Here he is striking out 10 in a complete game victory against the Yankees in 1997:
(Here's the list of folks he struck out that day: Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez (2), Paul O'Neill, Chad Curtis, Joe Girardi (3), and Ray Sanchez. That's quite the list.)
His seven scoreless-inning performance in Game 3 of the 2004 World Series - helping the Red Sox to their first Fall Classic win in 86 years:
Note that famous smile (and Jheri curl):
And, of course, there was that time he had his perfect game broken up … in the 10th inning:
Remember when he started off the 1999 All-Star Game by striking out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire in order, and then struck out Jeff Bagwell to finish the second inning?
We could do this all day - that's why he's in the Hall of Fame. Welcome to Cooperstown, Pedro.